Tow Bar?

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Tow Bar?

Postby Simon_P » Sun 05.07.2009, 16:40

Hi,

Does anyone have, have fitted, or know how to fit a Tow Bar to the Elan.

I only want to tow a light sailing dinghy.

Thoughts and ideas appreciated.

Thanks,

Simon
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Gary » Sun 05.07.2009, 18:24

No !!!!!!!!
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby The Ref » Sun 05.07.2009, 18:59

dont do it. the Elan is a sports car not a SUV :evil:
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Specky » Sun 05.07.2009, 19:13

I say do it....

Why not...

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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby ailwyn » Sun 05.07.2009, 19:14

You'd need to take it to someone that knew what they were doing as there are no mounts on the chassis so I'm guessing that the mount would have to be welded to the chassis or the chassis drilled, not something I'd entrust to anyone that claims they can...
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Enright » Sun 05.07.2009, 19:22

I believe there was a Lotus original available, because I've spoken to someone who had one fitted.
Actually I saw his Elan just yesterday in the Classic and Vintage Vehicle Display at the RAF Waddington Airshow.
I'm sure he's posted on here in the past but I can't remember his name.
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Simon_P » Sun 05.07.2009, 23:46

Gary Yes !!!!!!!!

The Ref - I know its not an SUV - I want to tow a boat not a caravan! The boat is nearly as cool as the car (if you like that kinda thing) ie it won't look odd. The tow bar will be removeable and invisible.

Specky - Why not indeed! ... and I will!

Ailwyn - Agreed. I don't take cars to anyone to do anything... cos they usually can't and I don't trust them (Actually that's not quite true. About 11 years ago I took an Astra to have the front shocks changed cos I just didn't wan't to do it myself). I have a good idea what I'm doing.

Enright - Any chance of remembering?

There is picture of a prototype car towing a small trailer. I'm guessing that they just bolted it to the boot floor though... unless anyone knows different?

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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby theelanman » Mon 06.07.2009, 01:02

I wouldnt.....but....
you may need a performance trailer to keep up with the car going round corners at speed :)
also I doubt it was bolted to the boot floor....its fibreglass and the first sign of resistance and youve ripped a hole in your boot floor
dont see the point of having a sports car and ...erm....slowing it down....:)......however each to their own....
the only other thing Id say is do you not have another car???....
Im only thinking that a one off towbar done by a specialist may cost you rather more than you thought and a std off the shelf one fitted to your everyday runner make be more cost effective....
just thoughts :)
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby ailwyn » Mon 06.07.2009, 08:34

Simon_P wrote:I don't take cars to anyone to do anything... I have a good idea what I'm doing.


No offence, but to me bolting on an off the shelf item is a different ball game to deciding where or how a new accessory should be mounted, especially one that could potentially affect the handling (while towing) or integrity of the chassis.... I'd personally seek out a specialist... but ultimately that's your choice.
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby mnemonix » Mon 06.07.2009, 08:51

I'm with Simon on this...

I sail too, and if the Elan is your only car, there's plenty of reason to do it. Something like a Lazer is almost light enough to go on the roof of a regular car, so if there's a Lotus OEM towbar for the car it would pose no difficulty at all, though I would think twice about trying an 'unapproved' solution. Don't be so negative folks!

Neil, if you happen to remember where you'd heard or seen about it, I'd be interested to know too.

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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Monty » Mon 06.07.2009, 11:51

mnemonix wrote:so if there's a Lotus OEM towbar for the car it would pose no difficulty at all, .


But there isn`t :roll:


The problem is that the rear section of the chassis isn`t the strongest part but i`d be interested know where they attached the Towbar as i would like to fit a rear towing eye, so keep us update on how you get on.

BTW, whats the laws on towing a trailer/boat on a car? does it go of weight?
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Enright » Mon 06.07.2009, 12:30

Simon_P wrote:Enright - Any chance of remembering?

No I'm afraid not - it was at least a year ago when I last spoke to the guy and a lot longer than that since he'd posted on the forum. Basically he got so fed up of having to justify why his Elan had one fitted to "purists" on LEC that he stopped visiting. :roll:
I did see that his reg no was E14 NXX, so if we're lucky then someone MAY be able to get some details from the database and PM him.

While it's a bit unusual I really don't see the problem with it, particularly properly fitted (i.e. NOT just attached to the boot floor). Say you want to take your boat to the Lake District and enjoy the local roads in between sailing - what's wrong with that?
Or to keep people happy should you have a 4x4 and 2 in-line trailers - 1 for the boat and 1 for the Elan?!? :P
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby dapinky » Mon 06.07.2009, 13:58

Monty wrote:BTW, whats the laws on towing a trailer/boat on a car? does it go of weight?



Nothing is ever simple in UK Law...

...Firstly, make sure that your licence covers you for towing.....

...if you passed your test before 1998 then you should have an automatic entitlement to tow with a car - You need to have a 'B + E' category listed.

Since that date, you will need to have taken an additional test.

Second, tell your insurers that you are towing (it shouldn't cost anything - but let them know!)

Likewise, check your breakdown cover.

In theory, if the trailer is heavier than the Gross weight of the towing vehicle, you should have a 'C + E' entitlement on the licence - not a 'C1+E' - ie an artic lorry licence!

For a light trailer, then it isn't a problem......

For the actual mechanics of it, the Caravan Club state that the trailer should be no more than 60% of the weight of the car - this is for stability and ease - not Law. (purely advice).

If the trailer is over 250Kg (laden) then it will need seperate brakes (over run brakes are usually fitted), and then it all changes again at 750 Kg.....

For a light load, then i cant see any problems as such, other than wanting to go over hump-back bridges!
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby paulrwebster » Mon 06.07.2009, 17:47

These people claim to do one though I am dubious as to whether it is for the Elan or just a generic part.

http://www.towequipe.co.uk/1/1/56117-wa ... 90-98.html
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Monty » Mon 06.07.2009, 18:46

Wouldn`t it be great to trailer an Elan track car by an Elan to a circuit, would make a great photo :-D
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Simon_P » Mon 06.07.2009, 19:44

theelanman.
the material poperties of fibreglass are exceptional it is a question of how you spread the load and attach things that determines if you rip the floor out of the boot - Just a different set of design rules
Yes I have other cars. at the moment my towing veichle is an Audi Quattro - I wan't to get rid of it hence the need for the tow bar.
I'm going to make it myself so low cost.

Ailwyn - No offence taken your comments are based on your assumptions.

Chris - thanks for your support. I'm going to make it myself as a rekon I can do a better job than a specialist who has to consider commercial constraints. I also wan't it to be removabl/invisible when not in use.

Monty - I'm asuming that the towing eye is for pulling the car out of a gravel trap. That is very different to towing a light trailer.

dapinky - Good advice thanks.

paul - thanks for the link - the more I think about this the more ideas I get - despite my comment earlier it could be that they made the one for the prototype car - that is usually the way these things are done.

Can anyone point me in the direction of max laiden weight? boot load capacity?
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Monty » Mon 06.07.2009, 19:52

Simon_P wrote:
Monty - I'm asuming that the towing eye is for pulling the car out of a gravel trap. That is very different to towing a light trailer.




Correct, although i`ve only been in the gravel once :-D

I`m no expert but you may need to come from the main body of the chassis instead of the rear :? Don`t forget to take some photo`s off your work as i`m sure there maybe others interested.
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Simon_P » Mon 06.07.2009, 20:35

Monty - Just make sure you o into the gravel backwards then you don't need a towing eye :wink:

It's going to be a while before I do anything - Will take photos

Roughly:
Trailer weight is 150 - 200kg

"As a general rule, the ball mass (the mass towards the front of the trailer carried by the tow ball of the towing vehicle) should be about 10% of the total laden trailer weight." - so say 20-30kg (heavier gives better stability)
That is not much more than a boot full of stuff and a lot less than a passanger. so suspension and handling shouldn't be much of an issue - (That is inviting comment i know!)

which leaves pulling away and stopping
asssuming worst case the trailer has no effect on performance...
amax 0-60 =7s = 0-100 (kmh) = (100000/3600)/7 = about 4 m/s2

F=ma = 200X4 = 800N ie not much...... unless you want to attach it to the back of a fibreglass sports car!
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby dapinky » Mon 06.07.2009, 21:02

Simon,

I can't argue with your maths, but don't forget, you won't be going over 60mph with an unbraked trailer anyway :-D
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Re: Tow Bar?

Postby Gary » Mon 06.07.2009, 21:12

dapinky wrote:Simon,

I can't argue with your maths, but don't forget, you won't be going over 60mph with an unbraked trailer anyway :-D


Yeah, I did that once (as it happened in the 3rd lane of a motorway), and one of your mates wanted a word.... :roll:
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